Craps is one of the fastest pace games going down in most casinos, with some 100 decisions every hour the approximate expectation of most casino operators. This means that players have to be sure of what they want to play and how they want to bet to avoid falling foul of the expectations of the game, the house and indeed the other players around the table. While craps can be hugely entertaining, it’s crucial that you observe these fundamental etiquette points, in addition to being comfortable with the way the game plays and the various terms and slang phrases you’ll hear in and around the table.
While most casinos are welcoming to new players, it’s important that you’re comfortable with the terminology of the game before you get started. This terminology is very particular to craps, and the dealer and other players will be shouting these terms to communicate bets and other events during the course of any craps game. Take the time to familiarize yourself with what these phrases mean, so you can understand what’s happening when you hit the tables for real.
Aside from a knowledge of the key terminology and the ins and outs of the game, players are advised to adhere to the principles of craps etiquette, both in terms of the specific ‘at the table’ stuff that every craps gambler should know through to more general points of how to handle yourself in the casino. By paying due respect to these issues, players can better prepare for the experience that is gambling at a live craps table.
Needless to say, a player that would like to play craps at live casino should already know how to play the game and craps rules. It is also important to be familiar with all the bets and the craps table layout in order to place the correct bets.
At The Table Craps Etiquette
The craps table is an environment that is governed by unwritten rules and codes of conduct, and other players and the dealer will simply expect you to know what you’re doing. The casino floor isn’t the place to suffer fools, and if you’re new to the game it’s important to keep your head down and to go with the flow in order to avoid embarrassing yourself. This might sound harsh, but those players that are often the noisiest and most obnoxious tend to be newer to the game. Nevertheless craps can be a lively, fast paced and fun environment, and provided you play by the rules you can have a guaranteed good time with the possibility of winning some money.
Interacting With The Dealer: the dealer does a tough job in craps, and it is often one that is frantic with multiple different players all placing bets and looking to communicate with the dealer directly. Because of the fast pace of the game, the dealer’s job is often a stressful one and so they consistently need to be on their toes to ensure the game runs smoothly and they are doing their job correctly. When you interact with the dealer, it is important to treat them with a heightened respect and courtesy, as is customary in craps play. Any communications you have should be polite, direct and well-timed – the player that yells for the dealer’s attention when he’s communicating with other players is unlikely to find a welcoming dealer at the other side. Treat the dealer with respect and don’t waste their precious time – speed is everything, so it pays not to mess about.
Interacting With Other Players: it is customary that players will always root for the shooter in any given roll, and even if you’re betting against the run of play you should avoid the temptation to become too vocal in your opposition to the shooter. It is considered bad form to cheer against the shooter, so keep quiet if you don’t want them to win. If you do support the shooter, it’s a good idea to do so vocally and to get involved in the spirit of the game – this will win you friends among other players and at the very least ensure you don’t stand out from the crowd. Another point in interacting with other players is never to push your way aggressively in front of another player. If you need to get access to the table, find a space through which to do so that doesn’t affect other players and if you need past, ask politely if the circumstances permit. It’s not rocket science, but this is one thing that annoys players no end, so it makes sense to mention it so you can avoid trouble.
The Number 7: one of the biggest taboos around the craps table is to mention the number 7, which is synonymous with bad luck. Craps players are a very superstitious bunch, and a number of slang words and phrases have grown up to replace direct references to the number 7 around the table. Whatever you do, avoid mentioning the number 7 if you don’t want to get funny looks or cause offence to other players.
Handling & Shooting Dice: perhaps unsurprisingly there are a number of rules surrounding the dice in craps and how you must behave when they are in your possession. Whenever you are handling the dice you must do so in one hand only. Avoid overly touching or shaking the dice and take care to keep up the pace of the game. When you are shooting, make sure that you roll the dice towards the back wall with enough force for them to hit the back wall. Try not to skid or slide the dice – the dice must be seen to roll and tumble off the back wall for a valid roll. Those that don’t know how to shoot or who dwell on the process can disrupt the flow of the game, and as a result garnish unwanted attention from other players and the casino itself.
General Etiquette Points
Aside from the specific around the table craps etiquette, you should also be aware of a number of more general points in how you should conduct yourself during your time in the casino and around the craps games. Your attitude at all times should be pleasant and accommodating, both to casino staff and other players. While you will no doubt encounter some awkward or brash characters as you play, it’s important to respect that everyone is out to have a good time and to avoid causing unnecessary tensions or stress for anyone else in the casino. Perhaps a major facet of this lies in ensuring you don’t drink too much before playing. Drunken behaviour isn’t tolerated in casino where there are serious gamblers at the craps tables – better to party with your winnings after the game, rather than before at the risk of causing disruption.
Craps etiquette can seem a complicated, detailed affair, and something that is daunting for those new to the game. While there are the specifics, it ultimately boils down to a common sense approach to the dealer, the game and other players.